DIY Back to School Tablescapes

August 11, 2020

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Tristy Lee- DIY | Home Decor | Art | Project Inspiration

     Back to School 2020, this year has been totally unexpected and full of challenges. Back to school time is an exciting time of year. What to wear the first day of school this year has taken a back seat to how will we go back to school? Whether you have decided to go in person or to do online school or some hybrid approach, I decided to bring some normalcy to my home through some quick change-ups to my home décor. I enjoy gathering things from around my house and displaying them on a bookshelf or table usher in a new season or event. I am highlighting three very different back to school tablescapes. Three versions will show you some ideas for small to larger tables and have strong back to school themes to subtle.  

Option 1: Back to School Teacher Style Table Scape

We had the best time on a short vacation to get away to Monticello UT. The picturesque views of the fields and animals in the backyard and the dozens of hummingbirds feeding all day in the two feeders gave us the perfect backdrop to relax and do some crafting. Janet, Lyon, and Teina Hazleton hosted the weekend. For a few days, it was nothing but arts and crafts, and games what a fun getaway. Janet has an excellent craft room filled with fun accent décor. She has several versions of Raggedy Ann Dolls. 

Education has always been a significant part of our family, with Grandma Craig being a lifelong teacher. My mom, her sister Diana and Janet have all been teachers. After commenting several times to my mom about school décor around the house, she suggested we do a smaller tablescape. That was all the encouragement that we needed. We started shopping at Janet’s home. That is what we call it when we have a theme in mind, and we walk through the rooms in the house, gathering up décor elements that may work in the overall theme. We looked for bright primary colors and school-based supplies.   

Supplies for back to school small table example:

  • Raggedy Anne Doll- (Janet made this doll one for her, my mom, and her mother years ago. She is so cute with a bag full of supplies ready for school.) 
  • Apple ceramic pot and plant.
  • Red apple décor
  • Notebook
  • Color Pencils
  • Pencil Holder
  • Table Runner

Bookcase for Back to School: 

Janet has this cute bookcase in her entryway.  We decided to give it a back to school make-over as well.  We grabbed a few more items from her craft room to give it a back to school refresh.

Option 2: Back to School Lifetime Educator Tablescape

     On the way home, we traveled through Price UT and spent a couple of days. While we were there, my mom, Joan Atwood, put together her version of a back to school table. 

It has some of the same concepts as Janet’s table. She used the Raggedy Ann school doll Janet made her. Crazy enough, she had a school-based plant too. She added her first pair of glasses and her very first tole painting jug. One of her favorite teachers gave her a cute plaque. She had a couple of versions of apples and added some accent pieces, an antique set of binoculars, and a pen and pencil set. She also included a purple sun dyed jar that we found at the top of a mountain hiking when we were kids, what a fun flashback. This set up has a very similar list of supplies, and as always, we did this tablescape shopping at home.

Supplies for back to school option 2:

  • Raggedy Anne Doll
  • School Theme pot and plant
  • Red and silver apple décor
  • Pen and Pencil Set
  • Antique Binoculars
  • Purple Jar
  • Table Runner

Option 3: Back to School Antique Collection

     When I got home, I wanted to create a back to school tablescape for my large table but with a different flare. I am not a school teacher, and I don’t have as many school theme pieces around my house. 

With Lily starting pre-school this year, it made me nostalgic of all of the things I think about with school. 

When I started to collect things from around the house, I took a subtle approach with a more neutral pallet. The antique bike seats we picked up at the Antique Fair in Round Top TX. They remind me of a biking round trip to school. Next, I knew I needed a book, and the nursery rhyme book Lily loves fits the bill perfectly with the size and colors. Recess is the best part of the day to play with friends, I put out some antique bugs and jack. The flowers remind me of walking to school and picking flowers to bring home. You always need pictures and videos to remember back to school, so Great Grandpa’s Video camera was a perfect fit.   

Supplies for back to school small table example:

  • Nursery Rhyme Book
  • Basket of Flowers
  • Antique Bike Seats
  • Birds: If you live in Utah County and have not been to Coming home, it is an absolute must for home décor accent pieces. They have a unique collection that changes regularly. 
  •      I picked up these birds here and a few other things you will see in some upcoming projects. Love, Love, Love, this place a great place for ideas.     
  • Antique Video Camera: 
  • Large Jack
  • Antique Bugs
  • Mercury Glass Jars: I picked these up at our favorite consignment store in Las Vegas, Lynns World. This is a must-stop if you go through town. We personally have bought items previously owned by Mary Wilson from the Supremes, furniture, Artwork, and many décor pieces. You will be treated like family from the moment you enter the store, and the eclectic mix of items will keep you coming back. 
  • Table Runner

Back to School Entryway

Entryway: I always enjoy taking a theme from the front door to the tablescape at my house. To carry on the biking to school theme. 

Take a quick look at Amazon to see all the options for wall hanging bikes. They had this charming bike with handlebars and a basket. We transformed it to look like the summer and fall flowers that you would find here by Utah Lake. Late in the summer, you start to see the golds in the grasses, and I wanted to carry that theme into our front door décor. To complete the look, I put a few things on the antique chest that always sits on my front porch, including a swag of flowers from Coming Home in Orem, Utah.  

Telling your story through décor:

These quick and easy refreshes to your interior décor refresh the look of a room and take you down memory lane. It is impossible to not think of loved ones and cherished times when you work with items that bring back touching memories. I encourage you to keep things in your décor closet with striking color, shape, and sizes but to make sure they are as meaningful as they are beautiful. It was entertaining to hear the stories behind the pieces that Janet had in her home.  

Please share ideas and pictures of your tablescape and entryways built with items that tell your home story.  

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  1. Janet says:

    This turned out so great! Thanks for all the wonderful ideas.

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